Yarding is a traditional New Year's Day event which originated at Chez Smallwood, familial residence of the Smallwood Barony, in -72 EC. Originally, a raucous celebration of Lane Smallwood's "lost" birthday, it was extended in later years to encompass a much larger "celebration of life", as the Smallwood family is fond of saying. This practice has been adopted by the Encyclopedants and was quite expanded by the Houvers, both of whom are well known for their carousing.
Oddly enough, yarding started out as quite a sober, straight-laced affair, consisting mainly of quiet congratulatory comments made over five-o-clock tea. Each year, however, the traditional cry of "Let's us go a-yarding!" has been accompanied with less five-o-clock tea and more Adlorst Vinifera, Ball Lightning Liqueur, Fefferberry Wine, and Winelust Syrup. And, due in part to the vast quantities of alcohol consumed, the festivities started earlier and earlier until they now traditionally begin on New Year's Day Eve. Originally, the festivities were confined to the grounds at Chez Smallwood, but as the celebrations began to get more raucous more of the neighbors started to show up and the party grew larger than even Chez Smallwood could comfortably manage. So it was that just five years later, in -67 EC, the party moved, spontaneously, from Chez Smallwood to the neighbors at Chez Bigwood, thus launching the first true yarding. From that year forward, more neighbors joined the movable feast and the revelers lurched from yard to yard consuming mass quantities of many things which should only be taken in moderation.
The Smallwood family have always been a barometer for fashion, taste, and the latest trends in parties, so it was no great surprise that the practice of yarding quickly caught on in more urban centers. There is some debate about where in Folktown the first yarding began, but, since it is currently launched in the beer garden of the 'Daver, it is believed to have originated there with the infamous Houvers. Though the urban yardings are somewhat haphazard and rarely planned, they are expected to continue in perpetuity.
--Doctor Phineas Crank 20:59, 13 Apr 2005 (EDT)